The Dotson Company foundry has had ups and downs over its 130-year history. Now among the leading gray and ductile-iron foundries in the Midwest, it was established as a blacksmith operation more than a century ago. First known for its Little Giant trip hammers used by machine shops and other manufacturers, its product line has varied widely over the decades.
In the midst of a broad manufacturing decline of the 1980s, Dotson Co. scaled back, eliminating its trademark trip hammers, closing its machine shop and aluminum and brass foundries. Under president Dennis Dotson, the company recreated itself as an iron foundry, investing in new melting and molding equipment. Though the strategy created some new difficulties, it eventually helped to increase productivity and profitability.
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